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Shelly Wagers, PhD


Dr. Shelly Wagers is the founder of Internal Power    .  She earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida, which is ranked as one of the top 10 programs in the nation for criminological  and behavioral studies research.  She has over 20 years of experience developing and delivering educational classes, workshops, and seminars in the areas of violence prevention and the development of healthy interpersonal relationships.  The specific focus of her research and experience is on helping people understand the internal motives behind their behaviors, and how these can either enhance or interfere in their interpersonal relationships at home and in their career.  The key to these motives and behavioral habits is Internal Power    .


Prior to entering academia, Dr. Wagers worked as a sexual and domestic violence prevention trainer and served as a sworn law enforcement officer in Florida.  

Dr. Wagers has also consulted with local Domestic Violence Task Forces, serves as an Associated Editor for a Behavioral Sciences Journal and has served as a board member for Are You Safe, Inc., a Florida non-profit organization that assists victims of domestic violence.


Dr. Wagers earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) in May of 1994.  Upon completion of her degree she obtained employment at UNCG as a public health educator.  She specialized in developing educational curriculum and programs designed to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and drug and alcohol use among college students.    


In 1998 Dr. Wagers moved to Tampa FL. and obtained an trainer position at Family Service Centers (FSC),a local non-profit organization. Her position was created when FSC received one of several large grants the Florida Department of Health funded across the state in order to develop and implement programming designed to prevent interpersonal violence and develop healthy relationships.  While in this position, Dr. Wagers developed cutting edge educational curriculum and programs for the prevention of interpersonal violence, which is still currently used.  Dr. Wagers also presented her curriculum through educational classes, seminars and workshops to over a 1000 people and organizations throughout Pinellas County each year. 


In 2003, Dr. Wagers decided to pursue graduate school.  During her graduate education Dr. Wagers developed Internal Power.  She also began creating and delivering workshops and classes on Internal Power.  In December of 2005, Dr. Wagers completed her M.A degree and in August of 2012 she was awarded her PhD.  Dr. Wagers recently presented findings from a study on the correlation between Internal Power  and the use of violence against an intimate partner at 

the American Society of Criminology in San Francisco, CA and in March 2015 had an article published in the journal Partner Abuse. In addition, Dr. Wagers is also involved in several partnerships and collaborations.  


In June of 2015 Dr. Wagers joined the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan.  As part of this work Dr. Wagers was invited to 

participate in a National think tank and join their public policy action subcommittee working to develop a national policy to end interpersonal violence. In addition, Dr. Wagers is consulting with several organizations in her area regarding how Internal Power can enhance their work with 







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